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16 August 2019
How Science can Change the Game

(Published - 16 August 2019)

The department of Sport, Recreation and Exercise Science (SRES) at UWC strives towards the development of healthy communities through innovative research and creative teaching within the fast-changing environment of higher education. This is in line with the strategic objectives of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA), underpinning their vision to “build an active and winning nation”, which includes the improvement of health and well-being of the nation through active recreation opportunities and the creation of enabling environments for participation. It is also in line with the National Development Plan 2030 for SA, which emphasises the need to provide health systems that work for everyone and to produce positive health outcomes through increased physical activity, access to facilities, organised programmes as well as the provision of additional healthcare professionals for community-based healthcare, ensuring a better quality of life for all citizens.

The department further strives to increase our visibility through continuous engagement with research activities, enhanced scholarship in learning and teaching that contributes to the provision of successful and innovative teaching practices, interdisciplinary collaboration (interdepartmental, inter-institutional and international) as well as to develop sustained third-stream income practices.

The department currently offers two undergraduate degrees (a BA Sport, Recreation and Exercise Science and a BSc Sport and Exercise Science), three honours degrees (BA/BSc Hons Biokinetics and BA Sport and Exercise Science with streams in Coaching and Conditioning, and Community Health), three Masters degrees (all by thesis only) and a PhD degree. In support of the High-Performance Sports project as well as the Cape Higher Education Consortium and City of Cape Town (CHEC-CoCT) project, the department is in the process of developing a Higher Certificate in Sport, Performance and Recreation with the intention of preparing and recruiting students into our undergraduate programmes. The strength of the department lies with the quality of staff employed and the diversity of our programme.

Sport and recreation is a diverse field with various sub-fields. Conducting research and supervision in the field of sport and recreation requires an individual to be diverse — a strength of the staff in SRES. This diversity allows our staff to engage with and supervise across various disciplines in the faculty and contribute to the development of the T-shaped student at UWC, preparing them for the workforce.

SRES strategically aligns ourselves with the University’s Institutional Operating Plan goals 2016-2020. More specifically, the department prioritises the three core goals, which are:

1 Student experience,
2 Learning and teaching, and
3 Research and Innovation,
as well as the enabling goal, Enhancing UWC’s Standing and Profile.

The department strives to create an environment that will encourage excellence in learning and teaching, research, and community engagement practices. This is done in consideration of external and internal role players, such as government departments and professional bodies, collaborating partners and communities as well as both current and prospective students of our different programmes. It also allows for the development of a T-shaped graduate by:

  • Developing skilfulness;
  • Extending the learning experience through exciting and intellectually challenging co-curricular opportunities;
  • Providing opportunities for meaningful engagement;
  • Connecting with the campus community and its environments; and
  • Entrepreneurship embedded in the training of our students.

This article was first published in the Women's Month special edition of the Blue and Gold - UWC Sports' official magazine. Read the full magazine here.